"The Rock Goddess, The Enchantress... Stevie Nicks!"

by Amy McClees

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Stevie Nicks, VanAndel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI 7/13/98: After being herded backstage with the other photographers, there was palpable nervous energy in the air. I was lucky enough to get a photo pass for the Stevie Nicks concert. Since Iím not a professional photographer, I approached the situation with more than a little trepidation.

OK, now wait for the third song and stand in the aisle so that every person rushing back to their seat on the floor can bump into you while youíre trying to get a decent shot. Stand back 12 rows from the stage. Donít use a flash. These are the prerequisites to follow when taking pictures of a rock star. But it was worth it.

The rock goddess opened her concert to the roar of a standing crowd and the strains of the song "Only a Dream." Everyone was on their feet (which made it pretty impossible to take pictures). By the third song, the house was rockiní to "Enchanted," which is also the name of Stevie's CD box/book set. Complete with liner notes and pictures, it gives insight to the songstress and her inner sanctum, her writing environment... her bathroom.

Stevie thanked the crowd for allowing her the opportunity to come out and do her original music "...different than anything Iíve done before." Her picks comprised the set list, not a tour of a group effort but very personal songs from the artist herself.

She did a trilogy of songs that encapsulated her saga, "After the Glitter Fades," which was written when she first arrived in LA to start her dream. The second was "Garbo," written after a photo shoot at a castle for the Buckingham-Nicks album cover that went awry. (Apparently she was ticked off at whatís-his-guts.) And the third song was "Rose Garden." In the lyrics to the last song, she seems to lament her lost love, "I was so spoiled/a princess in my time/and your love was so deep/and mine so blind."

Her backing band was a mixture of new and former touring members. Known for her gauzy, ethereal clothing, Nicks fans werenít let down. She had a huge mock-up of a fan on stage for a backdrop with very deep red and purple lighting for atmosphere. Stevie wore a black gauzy dress with a tasseled black shawl strewn about her shoulders, perfect for setting off that still blond hair.

The 40-plus demographics of the audience were more than appreciative with their applause, and why not, she had played almost all of their favorite tunes. People will talk about this concert for years to come.

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